As a business it is often difficult to know exactly what it is you’re asking of your managers.
Businesses are excellent at giving broad descriptions of the objectives they want their managers to meet.
Perhaps they need someone who is going to support and motivate their team, perhaps they need someone who is going to drive their team to achieve targets.
These high-level objectives are not that challenging to set. Where we often see a real weakness in small businesses is in defining the specific attributes that are required of their leaders.
What do leaders need to do in their business, what impact do they need to have, how do they need to behave to make sure that they are really driving positive outcomes? These questions are where really good businesses focus their attention. So, when we’re talking about what is it that our leaders and managers ought to be doing, we’re asking them to think about three things:
If your managers are able to create a high performing environment in which everyone can thrive, if they are able to develop and mentor your team in a way that influences the quality and calibre of their performance, and if they are able to measure, track, and assess performance in the way that impacts on results, then you’ve got a manager that’s really contributing to your business.
When we are working with businesses that are looking to shape really high performing teams, we are asking those businesses to think very specifically about what their managers are delivering in those three areas. If you want to assess the management capability of your business today, I would advocate that you start thinking about the following:
What is the environment like in your business, how can you demonstrate that your managers are tangibly contributing to a positive environment, and in which ways do they need to do more and better?
I’d also ask you to dig into the development approach of your business to understand how your managers understand what people’s weaknesses are and what positive action they take to turn those weaknesses into strengths. How is every individual in your team constantly being guided around how they can do more and be better?
Thirdly, I’d ask you to think about the performance of the business. Do you have clear tracks and measures in place to demonstrate who is adding value and in what way? Can you in a very tangible way demonstrate who your key performers are?
Management training and management coaching teaches an individual how to do the job that they need to do, but when you’re thinking about what they need to do, the short answer is, create an environment and development that leads to performance.
Those three things in place in your business provide a recipe for success that will ensure that you have a management team that is adding real value.